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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Angelika Kirchschlager by Sim Canetty-Clarke (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67934
Recording details: October 2011
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Simon Kiln
Engineered by Arne Akselberg
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 3 minutes 55 seconds

'Finding a wide palette of colours within her naturally warm mezzo, Kirchschlager is in her element … this recital should open many ears to the richness and variety of Liszt's songs. Recording and presentation are first-class' (Gramophone)

'The more one hears of Liszt's songs, the more one wonders why they have been so rarely performed … Kirchschlager's rich, resonant mezzo finds beauties everywhere on this disc, from heights of drama to intimacies of reflection, and at every turn Drake is with her' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a fascinating and rewarding recital, which explores Liszt’s oeuvre from the 1840s to 1870s … the grainy and distinctive timbre of Kirchschlager’s vivid mezzo-soprano is well suited to this highly charged emotional world, and Drake’s playing is eloquently impassioned without sinking to fortissimo ham' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Hyperion's retrospective of Liszt's complete songs [is] one of the most important recording projects of recent years … Kirchschlager is exquisite and intensely dramatic by turns … Drake is outstanding throughout' (The Guardian)

'The high expectations roused by Volume 1 of Hyperion's compete Liszt songs … are more than met with this second instalment … the programme is excellently chosen to showcase Liszt's versatility as a master of Romantic song … Kirchschlager's extraordinary dramatic gifts are displayed in the two longest songs here, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher and Die drei Zigeuner … rich new levels of meaning are revealed … Kirchschlager and Drake deliver performances that set the beauty and inventiveness of each song in high relief … not to be missed' (International Record Review)

J'ai perdu ma force et ma vie, S327
composer
1872; LW N68
author of text
1840; Tristesse

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Alfred de Musset’s La confession d’un enfant du siècle (1836) and his 1840 sonnet ‘Tristesse’ or ‘Sadness’—Liszt’s text for J’ai perdu ma force et ma vie—define the so-called ‘mal du siècle’, a compound of ennui, melancholy, apathy, and distaste for life. In a letter of condolence to the wife of Alexei Tolstoy (second cousin to Leo Tolstoy) in 1875, Liszt quoted the closing lines of Musset’s poem, in which life is summed up as weeping. Chromatically clouded, dramatic-emphatic ‘sighing figures’ fill the piano introduction before the singer enters with an unaccompanied, recitative-like passage, typical of Liszt’s late songs. This work is also emblematic of Liszt in its interior ‘ethereal’ treble passage evoking the eternal and its exploration of tonal ambivalence: we end in mid-air.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2012

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